Worker fired for misleading hospital on her immunization status

Worker entered protected areas and took blood samples from patients, potentially exposing them to influenza
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Firing a hospital worker who misled her supervisors regarding her flu inoculation was appropriate discipline, an arbitration board has ruled.

Anne Anger was a part-time phlebotomist, a worker trained to draw blood from patients for testing, at North Bay General Hospital in North Bay, Ont. She had been hired on a contract basis on Sept. 21, 2004.

The hospital had a strict policy on vaccination of staff to prevent the spread of influenza to patients. Staff who work with patients are required to get a flu shot and take the medication Tamiflu for two weeks until the vaccination takes effect. If an employee is not vaccinated for whatever reason, her schedule is changed to minimize contact with patients or she does not work if the schedule can’t be changed. Anger’s job involved visiting many patients and areas of the hospital to take blood samples, sometimes as many as 75 per shift, so flu vaccination was important for her.